(THE ABOVE PHOTO IS THE AREA WHICH IS NOW OCCUPIED BY BATTERY PARK CITY)
Here at NY Living Solutions, we’re continuing our look at the history of the area that we call home, this time focusing on Financial District’s neighboring neighborhood, Battery Park City. While the two border each other, Manhattan’s Financial District and Battery Park City couldn’t be more different. While Financial District is New York City’s first neighborhood, Battery Park City is certainly its last. This 92-acre stretch of land literally did not exist fifty years ago. Aside from that, while the Financial District has long been the home to all things business (and finance of course) in New York City, as well as being synonymous with giant office buildings, Battery Park City has been always equated with residences , lush green spaces, and an almost suburban feel.
Bounded by the Hudson River on the North, West and South, and the West Side Highway to the East, the concept for this tiny (by New York City standards) stretch of space was originally conceived by private firms in the early 1960s who wished to replace the disintegrating piers on Manhattan’s Southwest tip with a landfill (not the garbage kind) to build on. Originally an active port for goods entering and leaving New York City, by the 1950s, the area now occupied by Battery Park City was by then crumbling piers and wharves.
In 1966, Mayor Nelson Rockefeller laid out his proposal for what would later become BPC (Battery Park City), and while the plan for a mixed-use community downtown was of benefit to Nelson Rockefeller’s legacy, coincidentally his plan was of mutual benefit to his brother David Rockefeller who was part of the committee spearheading the development of the World Trade Center.
In ’68 the New York State Legislature created the Battery Park City Authority which still manages the area to this day, and in 1972 construction began on the landfill, using material from the excavation of the neighboring World Trade Center, as well as fill from the Hudson River bed. Although the landfill was completed by 1976, construction on the first residential building in Battery Park City didn’t start until 1980. From that point though, building boomed in every decade, with 23 buildings built in the 80s, 9 more in the 90s, and 11 more being built In the 2000s despite the damage done to the neighborhood by the attacks on September 11th, 2001. Since 2010 another 3 residential buildings have been built, not to mention the newly renovated Brookfield Place, formerly the World Financial Center.
At NY Living Solutions, we not only call the Financial District home, but consider Battery Park City an extension of that as well, and whether that means enjoying Battery Park City’s beautiful parks, or its breathtaking esplanade, BPC offers a nice retreat from the hustle and bustle of it’s more active neighbor, the Financial District.